Irish joy and Bangla capitulationAngikaar C |
In my ‘Matches to Watch Out For’ piece I had uploaded a few days ago, I had pencilled in Bangladesh vs West Indies as a match which I hoped, would provide good entertainment.
How wrong could I be.
England vs Ireland was never in my scheme of matches to watch. I had, at best expected Ireland posing a spirited challenge, nothing more. At 111/5, I had switched off my TV and decided to spend some time with the books.
Suffice to say I missed Kevin O Brien’s magnificent hitting, COMPLETELY. I only switched on the TV after another hour, spurred by a text from a friend, “This is the team we tied to. Horrible.’. When I switched it on, Ireland needed 65 to do it. Of 10 more overs.
That was it. Books thrown out. Chairs in front of TV. Back to biting nails. After every ball which Mooney blocked, I threw rubbers, pencils, plastic balls and whatever I got, at the TV. And after every four, I would jump out and do something akin to a ‘Sprinkler’ dance.
England vs India was a brilliant match in its own right, but it was played among two top teams and people will expect two big teams to have intriguing contests with each other. The Ireland vs England game was something this WC desperately needed, an unfancied, but passionate team, exuding joy and spontaneity in every sphere to come up trumps against a big boy. Ireland warmed a billion hearts and it was extremely gratifying to see Indian supporters join hands with the Irish to cheer Mooney and O’Brien along. However, I can state with absolute conviction that that will not be the case, come Sunday when India itself plays Ireland!
The Ireland game had suddenly awakened my interest in the Cup, something which had taken a dip following a few dreary games. Something told me, Bangladesh vs West Indies would be the game to watch. A slow, spinning surface, crazed Bangladeshi supporters and two teams (at least on paper) evenly matched. No, I needed to watch it.
How wrong could I be.
Yes, teams play badly. Very badly. But there is something unfair about that the fact that thousands of Bangladeshi supporters who faithfully trooped in to cheer, were subjected to the sight of their batsmen playing the most ridiculous shouts to an attack comprising of Roach, Sammy and Benn. Good bowlers no doubt, but definitely not world-class. Bangladesh made West Indies look too good.
I am in no way justifying the attack on the West Indian team bus. But a thought has to be spared for those supporters. For over a decade now, they have faithfully trooped in, hoping, expecting to see their team give back something to them. Is it a bit too much to ask?
One thing’s for sure. Kevin O’ Brien is gonna love the adulation. Shakib Al Hasan will be searching for a place to hide.
P.S: Pakistan look like a team to watch. Their batting against Canada failed, but they would rather it fail against a minnow than a India or Australia.